Preventing Computer-Related Injuries
If your employees spend a lot of time at their computers, they are subject to many work-related injuries. Computer users can suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, eye fatigue, and back strains. To minimize risk to your employees, you could offer them the following free ergonomics tips:
- Position the monitor at or slightly below eye level.
- Position your keyboard and mouse near each other. Ensure that the keyboard and mouse are at a height that will allow your arms to lay comfortably at your side.
- Use your entire arm, not just your wrist, to move the mouse.
- Sit up straight, and position your feet flat on the floor. If your feet do not reach, use a footstool.
- Adjust the brightness on your screen to a comfortable level.
- Position the monitor away from a direct light source. Do not place the monitor in front of a window or in direct glare of the window or any other primary light source.
- Look up from your screen often and look at a point in the distance to exercise your eyes.
- Vary your tasks so you are not constantly exposing yourself to computer-related injuries.
- When you are not using your computer, remove your hands from your keyboard to reduce arm strain and look away from the screen to reduce eye strain.
- Stretch and break from your computer often to reduce back strain, eye strain, and muscle strains.
- If using a laptop, use a standard desk whenever possible. If a standard desk is not available, use a laptop stand. Couch surfing introduces a whole new slew of possible injuries including additional muscle strains and additional eye strains (from use in a darkened room).
Beyond offering your employees free tips, you may wish to purchase ergonomical equipment to reduce their on-the-job injury risks. The following ergonomical equipment may assist your employees:
- Adjustable desks designed for prolonged typing. The ergonomically designed desk can be adjusted for comfortable positioning for any height.
- Ergonomically designed keyboards. The keyboard incorporates a more natural, curved design which allows for more natural typing position.
- Monitor risers for your employees. If your monitors are in set positions, there are numerous monitor riser designs which offer employees safety, function, and organization.
- Under-the-desk keyboard trays. If your desks are too high and not adjustable, purchasing keyboard trays can assist employees in reaching the desired, safe keyboard height.
- Purchase other items as needed. Wrist supports are good tools for employees subject to wrist strain. Ergonomical mice can offer more natural mouse use. Back supports are available to provide ergonomical back support without the price tag of a full ergonomical chair. Glare filters for monitors offer reduced eye strain.
Overall, computer related injuries can be reduced through proper placement, use, and equipment. Encouraging your employees to use their computers correctly and/or offering them ergonomical equipment can reduce your numbers of employee computer-related injuries.